Great Wall Hobbies 1/48 MiG-29 9-13 Fulcrum C 'NoKoAF' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2018||Manufacturer||Great Wall Hobby|
|Subject||MiG-29 9-13 Fulcrum C 'NoKoAF'||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||S4811||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Still the best MiG-29 9-13 Fulcrum C 'NoKoAF' kit in any scale||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$75.00|
With the success of the MiG-29 Izdelie 9-12, the Mikoyan OKB continued adding new capabilities to the 9-12 airframe before transitioning production to the 9-13 (NATO Codenamed: Fulcrum C). There are several variations of the 9-13 but it is visibly recognizable by the enlarged dorsal spine and the ability to carry a wider range of external stores. According to online reporting, North Korea had been operating the MiG-29 9-12 (Fulcrum A) as well as a few MiG-29UB trainers, but had struck a deal for ten 9-13s that were to be assembled in North Korea. According to one article, three of the 9-13s had been completed and flown, but the deal with the Russians went south (pun intended) and the remaining kits were not completed, instead, these were used as spare parts to keep the assembled 9-13s flying.
Great Wall Hobby is a kit manufacturer from China that has been producing a number of great subjects overlooked by other manufacturers. This latest release represents the MiG-29 9-13 (NATO Codename: Fulcrum C) and remains the only kit of this subject in 1/48 scale to date. This kit has been released several times previously and this one is in a special edition featuring only one subject - a North Korean Air Force example (Bort 555) that was featured operating from a highway in the new air superiority color scheme. I would venture that this kit is a special edition intended for Great Wall's domestic audience and made available outside of China as well. Let's take a closer look at the kit:
This kit is molded in light gray and presented on 18 parts trees and still represents some of the most advanced injection-molding I've seen to date. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpit
- Instrument panel populated with individual instrument face decals
- Nice K-36DM ejection seat with photo-etch harness
- Positionable canopy
- Choice of open or closed auxiliary inlets
- Choice of open or closed FOD cover intakes
- Choice of open or covered dorsal chaff/flare launchers
- Two detailed RD-33 engines
- Optional engine stand to display engine separately
- Positionable speed brakes
- Correct and positionable enlarged rudders
- Positionable stabilators
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable leading and trailing edge flaps
- Positionable landing gear
External stores include:
- 2 x R-27R (AA-10 Alamo A)
- 4 x R-73 (AA-11 Archer)
- 2 x external underwing tanks
- 1 x centerline fuel tank
The inboard pylons are plumbed for external tanks and are the only stations that are rated for the R-27, so you'll have to choose between fuel or missiles for your inboards.
This is the first kit that has captured the centerline tank correctly. On the full-scale aircraft, the only place that the MiG engineers could put an Auxiliary Power Unit was between the engines exhausting downward. The problem with this was that it would exhaust directly onto the external tank. The simple solution was to build an exhaust duct right through the middle of the tank and route the hot gasses out below the external tank and that is captured here. Verlinden was the first aftermarket company to fix this WAY back for the venerable Monogram 1/48 MiG-29 kit.
As mentioned above, this release includes decals to render only one example:
- MiG-29 9-13, Bort 555, NoKoAF
A nice set of airframe and weapons stencils are also provided.
Since Great Wall originally released its 9-12 and 9-13 variants, I learned that in the early releases, the underwing external tanks were too small, but like other GWH kits, the tooling is corrected in later releases. While you can still find other releases of the GWH MiG-29 9-12 and 9-13 kits on the market, it doesn't matter which edition you select as the plastic and photo-etch are virtually identical and there are many excellent schemes available in the aftermarket, including the MiG-29 decal sets from Begemot.